FMCSA’s Chief Counsel becomes the agency’s new Deputy Administrator 

Earl Adams Jr. is the new Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Adams, sworn in on Feb. 27,  had served as FMCSA’s chief counsel since July 2021. He takes over the role previously held by Robin Hutcheson, who was confirmed as FMCSA’s Administrator on Sept. 22.

Earl Adams Jr.

As Deputy Administrator, Adams will join Hutcheson to lead the agency and oversee a portfolio of initiatives supporting FMCSA’s mission – to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

“Earl is a mission-driven leader and thinker who embodies the values of our agency and the entire Department of Transportation,” Hutcheson said in a statement announcing Adams’ confirmation. “His vast experience, intellect, and people skills are exactly what the role of Deputy Administrator calls for. I look forward to continuing to work with Earl on policies, initiatives and data-based strategies to prevent crashes, improve safety outcomes on our roadways, and ultimately achieve our goal of zero fatalities.”

Wide range of experience

Adams has extensive legal and executive experience across several modes, including surface transportation, rail and aviation. As chief counsel, Adams was responsible for legal policy on all aspects of agency programs and activities, including developing, issuing, interpreting, enforcing, and defending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations before state and federal courts. He also provided executive oversight for FMCSA’s technology and innovation portfolio, including rulemaking on autonomous vehicles.

Before joining FMCSA, Adams worked in the private sector with several law firms and, most recently, as a litigation partner with a national law firm. He also served as the managing partner of the firm’s Washington office. His legal practice has always focused on providing clients with regulatory and compliance counsel across several sectors, including transportation, renewable energy and procurement.

Also, Adams has served as chief of staff to Maryland’s former lieutenant governor and has held several leadership positions in various organizations, including serving as the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, former vice chairman of the Bowie State University Board of Visitors, and former board member of the Economic Club of Washington.

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